Recent kwiples

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021 Available without prescription™ © 2015
COVID-19 coronavirus Roses are red Violets are blue Risk is low for coronavirus But high for the flu Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General, February 1, 2020, tweet, since deleted © 2021
Democracy Democracy didn't prevail. It lucked out. Gideon Rose, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2021, on the failure of the January 6, 2021, mob assault on the Capitol to prevent confirmaiton of Biden's electoral victory © 2021
Foreign policy Level whatever criticisms you may about the often bloodstained hands of the American colossus on the world stage, but Trump's foreign policy was different: shortsighted, transactional, mecurial, untrustworthy, boorish, personalist, and profoundly illiberal in rhetoric, disposition and creed. Jonathan Kirshner, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2021 © 2021
Foreign relations c An unchallenged US is a divided US. It follows that America's best hope of retaining some cohesion in the coming decades is a mighty China. What is disastrous for its relative power in the world might turn out to be a godsend for its internal cohesion. Decline has its uses. The US requires two things of an enemy: vast scale (to induce fear) and a different model of government (for a sense of otherness). The absence of the first is why al-Qaeda turned out to be such a fleeting adhesive after the September 11, 2001 atrocities. … As to the second condition, boom-era Japan, a fellow democracy, lacked it and so never crossed from daunting commercial rival to nation-binding enemy. Janan Ganesh, Financial Times, 2021/02/16 © 2021
Government Wise rulers know that the best way to defeat opposition is to win over its leaders; England was slow to learn that, in an industrial society, this means appropriating and educating the able children of the lower classes when they are still young. But eventually the rulers did learn; in a competitive world they had to. Michael Young, The Rise of the Meritocracy  © 2021
Hypocrites say With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon. Ted Cruz, cutting short his retreat to the Ritz Carlton in Cancún, Mexico, because his home (and constituents' homes) was freezing and under boil water advisories due to a days-long statewide power outage in Texas's electrical system, which doesn't work in cold weather because it isn't weatherized, and can't draw on reserves from other states because it's not connected to the national grid © 2021
Identity The significance of role theory could be summarized by saying that, in a sociological perspective, identity is socially bestowed, socially sustained and socially transformed. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2021
Ideology We speak of an ideology when a certain idea serves a vested interest in society. Very frequently, though not always, ideologies systematically distort social reality in order to come out where it is functional for them to do so. … the ideology both justifies what is done by the group whose vested interest is served and interprets social reality in such a way that the justification is made plausible. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2021
Institutions [Arnold] Gehlen conceives of an institution as a regulatory agency, channeling human actions in much the same way as instincts channel animal behavior. In other words, institutions provide procedures through which human conduct is patterned, compelled to go, in grooves deemed desirable by society. And this trick is performed by making these grooves appear to the individual as the only possible ones. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2021
Kwiplers say Count votes in Congress by: 1. Calculating a Member's Proportional Vote (MPV) for each member, as follows: MPV = SPNP / NLRS where: SPNP = State's Percentage of the National Population NLRS = Number of Legislators Representing the State (in that legislature) 2. Totaling “yes” MPVs and “no” MPVs 3. Passing if total MPV is more than 50 OTHERWISE Abolish the Senate © 2019
Lies Ordinary lying, knowingly telling untruths, is common. Big lying, peddling a full-fledged alternative reality akin to the Marvel Universe, is not. Big lies are  the territory of prophets and demogogues, people who hear divine voices themselves or play at divinity for others. They are self-contained intellectual paradigms immune from scientific falsification. Gideon Rose, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2021 © 2021
Looks Lady Alice Chapman, his hostess's daughter, a dowdy dull girl, with one of those characteristic British faces that, once seen, are never remembered. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray © 2021
Marriage The imperative that concerns us is the one that says to him, Marry! Marry! Marry! For this imperative, unlike the other [sexual desire], our young man was not born with. It was instilled in him by society, reinforced by the countless pressures of family lore, moral education, religion, the mass media and advertising. In other words, marriage is not an instinct but an institution. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2021
Meritocracy The argument of the book is that if the soil creates castes the machine manufactures classes — classes to which people can be assigned by their achievement rather than ascribed by their birth. In so far as this has happened, social inequality can be justified, and, to avoid too blatant a contradiction, such justification is almost always needed in a democratic society which has bowed to equality as far as elections are concerned. Otherwise the people who exercise power are going to be undermined by self-doubt and people over whom the power is exercised become indignant and subversive because they deny that the others have any right to lord it. Michael Young, The Rise of the Meritocracy  © 2021
Meritocracy  Being a member of the “lucky sperm club” confers no moral right to advantage. What one is born with, or without, is not of one's own doing. Michael Young, The Rise of the Meritocracy  © 2021
Meritocracy No longer is it just the brilliant individual who shines forth; the world beholds for the first time the spectacle of a brilliant class, the five percent of the nation who know what five per cent means. Michael Young, The Rise of the Meritocracy  © 2021
Obituary notices “BIGOT, MISOGYNIST, HOMOPHOBE, CRANK: RUSH LIMBAUGH DEAD.” Those were the words, capitalized and adrenalized, that HuffPost splashed across its home page. Several other left-leaning sites took the same tack and tone. Of course, they were positively restrained in comparison with Twitter, which is basically talk radio's less windy bastard child. Frank Bruni,  New York Times, February 20, 2021, on obituaries about Rush Limbaugh © 2021
Post-2020 Senate shituation 15 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) 2020 population: 40,085,414 Senators: 30 Republicans 1 Senator per 1,336,180 people 1 state (California) 2020 population: 39,368,075 Senators: 2 Democrats 1 Senator per 19,684,037 people 19,684,037 / 1,336,180 = 14.7, therefore: average 15er's vote is worth nearly 15 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth less than 7% of an average 15er's 1 state (Wyoming) 2020 population = 582,328, therefore: 1 Senator per 291,164 Wyomians, a Wyomian's vote is worth 68 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth 1.5% of a Wyomian's  © 2021
Race and class It is clear that the social location of an individual as a Negro … implies a far narrower channeling of existential possibilities than happens by way of class. Indeed, the individual's possibilities of class mobility are most definitely determined by his social location, since some of the most stringent disabilities of the latter are economic in character. Thus a man's conduct, ideas and psychological identity are shaped by race in a manner far more decisive than they commonly are by class. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2020
Reality Reality is socially constructed. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2021
Revolution In fact, when we look at revolutions, we find that the outward acts against the old order are invariably preceded by the disintegration of inward allegiance and loyalties. … Nonrecognition and counter-definition of social norms are always potentially revolutionary. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2021
Sincerity Sincerity is the consciousness of the man who is taken in by his own act.  Or as it has been put by David Riesman, the sincere man is the one who believes in his own propaganda. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2021
Society It is quite correct to say that society is objective fact, coercing and even creating us. But it is also correct to say that our own meaningful acts help to support the ediface of society and may on occasion help to change it. Indeed,  the two statements contain between them the paradox of social existence: That society defines us, but is in turn defined by us. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2021
Sociology The experience of sociological discovery could be described as “culture shock” minus geographical displacement. In other words, the sociologist travels at home — with shocking results. Peter L. Berger, An Invitation to Sociology © 2020
State of the union The problem is not just that with politics no longer stopping at the water's edge, U.S. foreign policy could veer unpredictably from administration to administration. It is that the United States is taking on water itself. The country has entered what can only be characterized as an age of unreason, with large swaths of its population embracing wild conspiracy theories. The United States today looks like Athens in the final years of the Pelopponnesian War or  France in the 1930s: a once strong democracy that has become ragged and vulnerable. Jonathan Kirshner, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2021 © 2021
Technology But the third most costly building is almost certainly the giant semiconductor fabrication plant being built by TSMC in Taiwan for about $20bn. When operational next year, the facility will contain clean rooms the size of 22 football pitches in which silicon chips will be manufactured at dimensions that redefine the meaning of wafer-thin. At just 3 nanometres, TSMC's wafers will be as thick as the length your fingernail grows in three seconds. John Thornhill, Financial Times, February 25, 2021 © 2021
Trumpists say We did not send him there to vote his conscience. We did not send him there to do the right thing  or whatever he said he was doing. We sent him there to represent us. Dave Ball, Washington County, PA, GOP Chairman, giving the finger to Sen. Pat Toomey for voting to impeach Trump the seocnd time around © 2021